Since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid played some serious defense for the White House at the start of the year and managed to ward off a vote on the largely bipartisan push coming from both Houses to impose the pending threat of tightened sanctions on Iran, the country has been relatively raking it in with the sanctions relief while Tehran’s leaders have been making familiarly rabble-rousing statements behind the scenes. You might think that it’s a pretty reasonable time to circle back to the issue, but according to Reid, you’d be wrong.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and other Republican senators this week have used Senate consideration of a measure dealing with veteran’s benefits to refocus attention on Iran and whether the U.S. should impose new sanctions on Tehran. …
“There’s no excuse for muzzling the Congress on an issue of this importance to our national security, to the security of Israel … and to international stability more broadly,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), who for months has held off attempts to force a vote on the Iran issue, again criticized Republicans for trying to bring up Iran on ancillary legislation.
“They offered an amendment that has nothing to do with this bill, the veterans bill. It’s partisanship at its best, it’s obstruction at its best,” Mr. Reid said during a floor speech Wednesday morning.
Ugh. If you really want to talk about “partisanship” and “obstruction,” Reid has both of those bases covered with his incessant vote-blocking here. I like the way Sen. Ayotte put it in her response this morning: This proposed bill is just an insurance policy against Iran reneging on their end of the bargain, so what’s the problem? Unfortunately, as Sen. Corker admitted this afternoon, this latest push is probably ill-fated, too, via HuffPo:
The Obama administration has little to worry about, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) suggested Wednesday.
“It doesn’t look to me like we’re going to get a vote,” Corker told several reporters on Capitol Hill. …
“I think Congress weighing in strongly, in some form or fashion, on the biggest foreign policy issue we have underway right now kind of makes sense. It’s kind of what you do when you’re in the United States Senate,” Corker said. “Whether it’s exactly this piece of legislation or whether it’s something else, I think it makes sense for Congress to weigh in.” …
“I think there are very legitimate concerns about the sanctions dissipating, and you never end up with a deal and have a series of rolling agreements,” Corker said. “To us, the most important element is to define what the end has to be,” he added. “As their economy begins to recover, which it is … we’re going to lose the traction that we have on this issue.”
The WFB snagged some vids from this morning’s floor speeches on the topic:
Let me just repeat that a strong bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress agree with this approach. So, there’s simply no good reason for the majority leader to prevent a vote on this crucial legislation. He’s gridlocking the Senate, preventing the Senate from working its will, on a bill that enjoys broad bipartisan support and makes elementary good sense and it the best hope we have to prevent a nuclear armed Iran. There’s no excuse for muzzling the Congress on an issue of this importance to our national security, to the security of Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East, and to international stability more broadly. … This is a rare issue that should unite both parties in common purpose, and there’s no question it would if the majority leader would simply drop his reflexive deference to a president whose foreign policy is focusing on withdrawing from our overseas commitment.
And so all we’re asking for is let’s have a vote on this. This matters enough to the American people, this matters enough to the safety and the future of our children and future generations. This matters enough to the world. It deserves a full debate and it deserves a vote and if you’re against it, you can vote against it. If you’re against it, you can debate against it. We want to hear these arguments and your thoughts but why can’t we vote on it? It deserves a vote, it’s that important.